HomeNFLTurkish amputee footballers eye 2024 European Championship legacy

Turkish amputee footballers eye 2024 European Championship legacy

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The Turkish amputee national football team, champions of the European Championship twice in a row, aims to prove that their success is no fluke by winning the 2024 European Championship in France.

Preparations for the European Amputee Football Championship, to be held in France from June 1-8 under the host nation of France, are underway as the national team is in camp in Kocaeli, intensively continuing their training.

Head coach Ismail Temiz told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the 24-player squad training in the city will be reduced to 18 for the next camp, forming the main squad.

Temiz expressed the challenge as a head coach, saying, “Because all my colleagues are self-sacrificing and doing their best. Amputee football is represented by Türkiye in the world, and I am sure it will continue to be represented by Türkiye.”

He added that they will play preparation matches against England, Uzbekistan, and Iran during the camp in Antalya, to assess the players’ current status.

Stressing that champion teams are always in the spotlight, Temiz emphasized that their opponents’ competition will also be high.

“Being a champion creates a situation with more responsibility and pressure, both for the technical team and the players. So, we are working accordingly. We are aware that we need to work more,” he said.

Temiz highlighted England as a significant rival in the championship, along with Poland, Spain, and Ireland.

Despite acknowledging these strong opponents, he emphasized Türkiye’s strength, stating that if any of the other countries win, it should not be surprising, but Türkiye outweighs them all.

As a former soldier who lost his leg to a mine, Temiz expressed his unwavering commitment to success, both on and off the field, stating that they would do their best to raise the Turkish flag to the top.

He affirmed their goal to go to France as champions and return as champions.

Temiz emphasized the importance of winning championships to promote amputee football among young people, highlighting the crucial support of state officials.

Team captain Rahmi Özcan expressed their intention to win the European Championship again to prove their previous successes were not accidental.

Özcan also discussed their preparation for the 2026 Amputee World Cup, stating their confidence in themselves, their federation, management, technical team, and players.

He noted that Türkiye sets an example for other countries in amputee football, boasting the best amputee league in the world.

Özcan acknowledged that their opponents are intensifying their efforts against them but expressed confidence in their ability to maintain their dominance, having won one world and two European championships.

Goalkeeper Furkan Arslan stated that the team’s fight, desire, and ambition are at the highest level.

Arslan emphasized that they aim to defend their title as the reigning European champions, saying, “We want to show again that Türkiye is the best in Europe.”

Saying that their work as goalkeepers is going very well and they will close the goal, Arslan expressed, “Hopefully, we will become champions and bring our cup to our country on June 10.”

Arslan added that Türkiye is a country that has a say in amputee football worldwide and is a team that has imposed an embargo on cups for years.

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